Better With Sprinkles

The Colourful Side to Healthy Living.

ED Talk: The Last Fear Meal.


When you have an eating disorder, the list of foods you deem “acceptable” is much, much shorter than the list of foods that you won’t eat. For whatever reason: too much sugar, too much fat, too many carbs…you refuse to let them pass your lips.

As you begin recovery, you slowly start to reintroduce certain foods into your diet. You start small – something as simple as a piece of toast or a piece of candy – and you work your way up from there.

The first “fear food” I tackled in recovery?

A sandwich. A toasted tomato sandwich, to be exact. Slices of tomato and black pepper between two toasted pieces of bread. It sounds so simple, but it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

As I ate that sandwich, I was absolutely terrified. It had been so long – at least a year – since I had had that many carbs in one sitting. One of my “rules” when I was anorexic was that I couldn’t eat more than 1 grain serving a day.

As I was finished off the final bite of that sandwich, I was certain that I was going to find myself 20 pounds heavier with a pregnant-looking belly by the next day.

Of course, my fears were unfounded. My appearance didn’t change, and my fears about food slowly began to alleviate as I reintroduced more foods into my diet. I moved to cake, ice cream, poutine, wine…I felt I had pretty much everything conquered. I felt confident that I ate (and drank) well enough the majority of the time, so eating something less nutritious once in a while was absolutely fine.

Even though it’s been two years since I finished therapy and I’ve considered myself recovered for a while now, there was one meal that I had not yet had. I tried to convince myself that I didn’t like it, that I didn’t need it – but I was fooling myself. I hadn’t tried it yet, because it was still a fear food for me.

What was it?

A burger and fries.

I had never ordered a burger and fries.

I had ordered veggie or chicken burgers, and I would routinely steal a fry or two from my dining partner. But a red-meat burger with my own order of fries on the side? I couldn’t do it.

In my head, “healthy” people did not order that. They knew better. They ordered a chicken sandwich, or a veggie burger. They never, EVER would get fries with a burger. It was side salad or nothing.

Of course, I know this is silly. I may not want to eat a burger and fries every day, but an occasional order was absolutely fine, and did absolutely nothing to jeopardize my health – or change my weight whatsoever.

After I had come to this realization, I realized I had to do this. To prove to the eating disorder voice that pops into my head once in a while, that I had control and knew better than to listen to it.

So on Saturday, when the waiter asked me what I wanted for lunch, I knew what I was going for.


Lamb burger (lamb is red meat and I honestly prefer it to beef, so it met my criteria) and fries. and coleslaw. Foods that still have the power to make me uneasy, all facing me on a plate.

You know what?


It was delicious. The lamb was flavourful and delicious, especially with the addition of the goat cheese. The fries were crispy and perfect with some ketchup for dipping, and the coleslaw was wonderful in its mayo-laden glory.

I ate until I was full, and enjoyed every bite.

The next day, I woke up the exact same size as I had been the day before. Of course.

Now? I feel better about my situation with my ED than ever before. I feel even more confident that I AM recovered, and that I will never find myself in it’s trance again.


The Eats



Oats made with water, a splash of vanilla, cinnamon, and a sliced banana. Topped with almond butter, the maple pumpkin butter my mom bought me and Cinnamon Chex. There are no words for that pumpkin butter – if it lasts me longer than a week, I’m going to be surprised.




Salad with romaine, spinach, sliced carrots, a small sliced pear, pecans, feta, and some homemade maple balsamic vinaigrette. I can’t remember the last time I had pecans, but they may be one of my favourite nuts (TWSS).




For dinner, I pulled a recipe for an Italian shrimp dish out of The Looneyspoons Collection cookbook. It involved lots of tomato and zucchini, simmered in white wine with feta – delicious! On the side, I had some celery bread my mom left with us. It wasn’t bad, kind of like garlic bread but with celery salt. It made for a tasty, light dinner.



My mom had picked up a case of pumpkin tarts from the market on Saturday, of which she left us with two of them. I pulled one of them out with the intention of trying a bite or two.


Yea, we all know how that ended up.Winking smile That tart is long gone – I just wish I had a bit of whipped cream on it! It tasted like pumpkin pie, which in my opinion always needs a squirt of whipped cream!

Between the pumpkin butter and the pumpkin tart, I am definitely feeling the fall goods right now. I give it another week or so before I break out the pumpkin and the apple flavoured baking. Open-mouthed smile


<— Pumpkin pie: heated or room temp, whipped cream, ice cream or naked? Heated, whipped cream. Amazing.

<— French fries, sweet potato fries, or onion rings?


19 thoughts on “ED Talk: The Last Fear Meal.

  1. YOU GO GIRL, I can relate to this because fear foods were definitely a huge part of having to overcome my ed. I made a list in treatment and spent the last year trying everything. I think exposing myself to them ove r and over has helped me tear down those good or bad labels. Society doesn’t help this though, as you said there is so much judgment around food now a days.

  2. Good for you! I’m so happy for you taking those steps that make you feel happy! Oh, and sweet potato fries all the way!

  3. Way to go!!! I totally know what you mean by fear foods.. I made a list of mine and have been slowly checking them off 🙂 It’s so much better when you’re not tied down with that fear 😀

  4. This is so brave of you to be sharing such an intense part of your journey! I am fighting a more rare ED called NSRED (nocturnal sleep related eating disorder). Seeing posts like this give me so much hope!

    Best wishes and PS those meals look delicious!

  5. This post takes so much courage to write; I just wanted to thank you. These words mean so much to so many people, and this is a message that we all do not hear enough. Congrats to you on your strength and perserverance and yay for burgers and fries!!

  6. i’ve had lamb before! loved it!!

  7. THIS. IS. AWESOME!!!!! A sandwich was my first fear food when I started recovering my anorexia too!!!
    I’m SO impressed by you. You have no idea how big of an inspiration you are ma’am. I’m pretty jealous of your lamb and goat cheese burger–that sounds brilliant!
    Thanks for the motivation to keep knocking out fear foods one at a time. xoxo

  8. Woot yes, love this Sam! You know I can 100% relate to fear foods… still have them unfortunately. I don’t remember have a meal when I encountered something, but I did have a bit of a binge when I realized I was starving myself and my family confronted me. I had everything I had been depriving myself of for years- peanut butter, nutella, bread with butter, straight up whip cream… only a few of the delish things I can think of. Keep up the great work dear!

  9. Pingback: Rehashing September. « Better With Sprinkles

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